Afghanistan Parliamentary Assistance Program (APAP) (2004-2012)
- APAP Newsletters
- Constituency Relations Manual: A Guide for Afghanistan National Assembly Members
- National Assembly of Afghanistan Legislative Process Manual
- Budgeting and Parliamentary Budgeting Institutions in Afghanistan
- Afghanistan National Assembly Staff Survey Report
- 2012 News Stories
- 2011 News Stories
- Afghan legislators attend budget training course in Washington, D.C.
- APAP team leader publishes article on Afghan civil society
- Afghanistan Parliamentary Institute receives official accreditation
- Conference provides expert advice to CSOs
- David Guinn Visits Afghanistan & Lebanon
- Afghan Youth Fellows Aim for Positive Impact
- Una Moore shares experience with Afghan Elections
- 2010 News Stories
- Dr. Kate Rose-Sender discusses Women's issues in Afghanistan
- Afghan Politicians Learn Media Skills with SUNY/APAP
- APAP takes Youth Fellows, CSOs through Budgeting Process
- Afghan Parliament Holding Public Hearings
- Twenty-eight CSO Representatives Learn Legislative Advocacy Skills with USAID Assistance
- Seven Afghan National Assembly staff attend Radio Documentary Production Course
- APAP Hosts Secretary General Gran at Tulane Legislative Drafting Institute
- MPs Consult Provincial Representatives on National Budget Priorities
- 2009 News Stories
- 2007 News Stories
After 3 decades of civil war, in 2005 Afghan voters elected their first functioning parliament in almost 35 years. The Afghanistan Parliamentary Assistance Project was there from the beginning. Starting in 2004, APAP helped lay the groundwork for the new National Assembly (NA) through a series of preparatory studies, expert advice on developing necessary rules and administrative procedures, and initial staff training. Following the elections, APAP expanded its efforts to support both staff and parliamentarians as they felt their way through the trials of creating a new institution from the ground up. APAP has witnessed and supported the parliament as it grew from what many viewed as a simple rubber stamp for the government to a vibrant independent branch of government that, by 2010, the Washington Post recognized as a “robust check on President Hamid Karzai’s power.”
Beginning in 2010, increased USAID support allowed APAP to deliver a comprehensive program of legislative strengthening and support. These activities were organized into the following units:
- Legislative Support Team: assisted all 29 committees with law drafting, bill reviews, and the exercise of their oversight functions.
- Budget Support Team: provided in-depth analysis of the executive budget and expenditures, the BST empowered the NA to reject the last two budgets proposed by the government and negotiate significant changes. It provided vital assistance to the budget and finance committees in their oversight function.
- Outreach Support Team: provided assistance to the Department of Information and Public Relations and developed outreach to citizens, CSOs, and the international community. This team also published the APAP Newsletter, a valuable English language resource on NA activities.
- Institutional Development Team: assisted Parliament in improving rules of procedure, staffing and human resource structures, and support services.
- Afghanistan Parliamentary Institute: provided training to MPs and staff, on skills necessary for the efficient operation of all legislatures.
The challenges inherent in building a strong, independent, and effective Parliament in a relatively short time period in a conflict-ridden nation emerging from decades of authoritarian rule and civil war cannot be denied. Yet APAP brought significant improvements to the re-emerging National Assembly, and tangible progress was made towards improving the legislative, oversight, and representation functions of the institution.